We are told these members-only groups are the beginnings of Web 3.0. Are they all they are hyped up to be?
I have seen the light, and I was not convinced. This month, I was invited to a party hosted by Friends With Benefits, an exclusive club of artists and investors who have access to a private chatroom on Discord and parties in cities like Miami and New York. The image has a subversive sheen: techno DJs and venture capitalists in ripped designer jeans throwing secret raves. The club’s “manifesto” describes a “bright future” for the “ultimate cultural membership” where “prosperity is abundant” and “data and payments are fluid”, just like gender.
Friends With Benefits was founded in 2020 by Trever McFedries who, after bringing the VR popstar Lil Miquela into the world, had higher ambitions than animating a robot to make out with Bella Hadid in an underwear commercial. “Capital as a weapon is intriguing to me,” said McFedries in a YouTube speech. Having seen Occupy “fail miserably” while GameStop “toppled a hedge fund in four days”, he set his sights on creating a DAO.